Decision details

ESF Skills for Growth Commissioning – Early Years Workforce Upskilling Programme contract award

Decision Maker: Chief Executive Officer GMCA & TfGM

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


GMCA have run a competitive process and Acorn’s submission scored highest after evaluation.

2 submissions were received and were sent to a full evaluation panel. All submissions were checked by GMCA’s Information Governance Team and were found to be acceptable. The finances of the bidding companies were also checked, along with the safeguarding policies submitted.

The Invitation to Tender comprised of 3 parts, covering (75%) Quality, (15%) Social Value and (10%) Price.

Following evaluation and moderation, Acorn Training were ranked highest of the two bids however, both bids were strong and this is reflected in the moderated scores for both providers.

The Successful provider’s scores were deemed acceptable and comprehensive throughout their submission and offered an economically advantageous tender. Acorn Training scored higher in the Performance & Contract Management and Financial Value for Money sections and the evaluation panel were particularly impressed with their responses concerning their delivery model, quality and track record and engagement and stakeholder management.


Following a competitive procurement process using GMCA’s Education Work and Skills Flexible Procurement System, GMCA wishes to award a £1,499,992.50 contract to Acorn Training. This is part of the Skills for Growth programme and focuses on skills in the Education (Early Years) sector in GM.
Delivery is expected to start no later than end of August 2022, enrolments must finish by end of March 2023, and all contract activity and support must conclude by the end of September 2023. Exceptional performance may result in discussions around extension option being implemented.

Publication date: 26/07/2022

Date of decision: 19/07/2022

Effective from: 01/08/2022